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By   /   December 18, 2011  /   Comments Off

jimhallWritten by Jim Hall. Email your questions to geekspeak@mchsi.com . You can find Jim online at HallsTrainingSolutions.com

    Clean Sweep

 

                What is the best all around computer cleaner for the average Windows user?  Good question!   Windows provides a built-in junk file removal utility called Disc Cleanup, but many users want something more effective and a utility that combines other maintenance chores into one interface.  You can do most of your maintenance chores from within Windows, but may have to jump around to do so and that means you have to remember where all the utilities are.  Third party all-in-one utilities combine needed access to various tools in one interface so that you can do most of your work by just navigating inside that program.

Over the years I have recommended several third party solutions dating back to EasyCleaner by ToniArts and more recently CCleaner by Piriform.     For the purposes of this article, I re-examined CCleaner, SlimCleaner by SlimWare Utilities and Glary Utilities by Glarysoft.  I did not evaluate paid versions of any of the utilities; just the free ones which I find to be adequate for a majority of users.

I enthusiastically endorse all three of the subject  products and will continue to use all three for different purposes as there are some features unique to each.  Glary offers some spyware removal, broken shortcut fixes and empty folder deletion that I did not find in the others.  SlimCleaner removes hijacking toolbars and rates some of your applications to help you determine those that are slowing down your Internet surfing.  CCleaner makes it easy (and I have found safe) to clean your registry and makes it simple to manage System Restore files

All three of the utilities do a credible job of cleaning your browser files including temporary files, history, cookies and form history irrespective of which browser(s) you use.  All of them can clean your Windows files like recycle Bin, recent Docs, temp files, log files and the like.  They all offer various degrees of control over which files your remove and each has some type of registry cleaning capability.

So which gets the nod for best of the best?  I want to clarify my answer by user group.  For beginning users, CCleaner is the best based on ease of use and based on riskiness.  It is possible to get into trouble using registry cleaners and I find CCleaner to be less aggressive and least likely to cause disruption from accidental deletion of important files.  My recommendation is to use the Run Cleaner function and use Tools to manage your Startup folder and to Uninstall unwanted programs.   Use the Registry Cleaner after creating a System Restore Point first.

For more advanced users, there are features in both SlimCleaner and Glary that you might find useful.  I use them both!  You may find that Glary has more features than you would ever use; choose what you need and ignore the rest.  Clean up your old clogged up system and till next week, send your questions to:

geekspeak@mchsi.com

 

 

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